On June 27, 2009, Thomas Larkin became the first ever Italian-trained player to be drafted by an NHL club. The son of an American father and Italian mother, he was born in London, England.
Larkin spent most of his life in Italy, then moved to the United States. He was switched to defense by his high school coach.
2008-09: High school senior with Phillips Exeter Academy. He set the single season scoring record for a defenseman with 52 points. Earned team MVP honors and All-New England honors. Ranked 87th among North Americans by Central Scouting (final).
2009-10: Larkin earned a big role as a freshman at Colgate University. In 33 games, the blueliner scored 3 goals and 16 assists. His 19 points led the team's defensemen.
2010-11: Larkin skated in 41 of 42 games for Colgate as a sophomore and also represented Italy at the 2011 IIHF Division 1A World Championship. Larkin and teammate Jeremy Price shared the team lead in goals for a defenseman with five each on a Colgate team that struggled for much of the season; finishing last in the ECAC Hockey League regular season standings. The Raiders turned things around late in the season – picking up 8 of their 11 wins after February 1st – and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. Larkin finished +8 for the season and had 7 assists with 41 PMs. In four games for Italy he scored 1 goal and was +1 as Italy won three of four games to capture the tournament and return to the top pool for 2012.
2011-12: He was named captain of Colgate University as a junior last season and responded with 14 points (10 assists) in 37 games. The stay-at-home defender was once again named to the Italian national team and had four assists in 20 international games.
2012-13: Larkin made his pro hockey debut with Columbus AHL affiliate Springfield in March after completing his college career at Colgate. He scored his first goal (and only point) in his second game, a 2-0 win over the Manchester Monarchs. Larkin was -3 in seven games for the Falcons. Springfield finished first in the Northeast Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Larkin did not play in any playoff games. He scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was -7 with 55 penalty minutes in 36 games as a senior with the Raiders. Colgate finished 11th in the 12-team ECAC Hockey League and lost to St. Lawrence in a first round playoff series.
Larkin’s biggest challenge is to use his size to his advantage. At 6’5 he should be an imposing force in the collegiate game, but he is yet to be the physical force the Blue Jackets are hoping he can be.
Larkin will return to Springfield, where he received a taste of professional hockey last season. He will have a spot to lose when the season begins, but at 6’5 is going to get plenty of chances to show he can play after signing a two-year entry level deal with the Blue Jackets.